Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jam cons’ phones: feds

  • Print

OTTAWA -- Criminals who run their operations from behind bars using mobile devices could soon be left searching for cell service.

The federal government is asking companies how to stop prisoners from making calls on smuggled cellular and smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices.

Such devices are banned in jails -- but evidently, that hasn't stopped prisoners from getting hold of them.

"Though this prohibition is rigidly enforced, upon occasion, mobile devices are recovered by correctional officers from inmates within an institution," says a notice posted Tuesday on a government contracts website.

"It is, therefore, of significant importance for (the Correctional Service of Canada) to develop an effective and sustainable method of preventing the use of mobile devices by inmates in support of its public safety mandate. To that end, CSC seeks a solution to impede the use of contraband mobile devices within the confines of correctional institutions across Canada."

The notice gives no indication about the extent of the problem in Canadian prisons.

But a CSC spokeswoman says 120 cellphones were confiscated nation-wide in 2010-11, up from 94 in 2009-10 and 51 in 2008-09.

"Similarly to other forms of contraband, cellphones can and have been smuggled into institutions in offenders' personal effects, by inmate visitors and some staff/contractors, by inmates in their body cavities, hidden in deliveries to the institution via supplies and or the kitchen, and in throw overs just to name a few," Veronique Rioux said in an email.

A written government response to a recent report by the House of Commons public safety committee sheds further light on the issue.

"Despite current efforts, cellphones continue to serve as a conduit for inmates to engage in criminal activities, both inside and outside penitentiary walls," says the government's letter to the committee's chairman, Conservative MP Kevin Sorenson, dated Aug. 8.

The letter lists some ways jails try to keep out phones, such as searches of inmates and visitors, X-ray baggage scanners and metal detectors.

"While detection and prevention tools are useful, each has limitations and despite continued efforts to detect and seize these devices, rendering these devices ineffective may prove to be the most effective means of disrupting these criminal activities," it says.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 29, 2012 A6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - I Just Want A Race

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s comment that Tina Fontaine’s slaying was a crime, and not part of a larger sociological problem?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google